Originally bred by French monks in the Middle Ages, as early as the 1500’s Bassets were used as hunting scent hounds with fox, rabbits, and badgers being as a specialty. At the time only often nobility could afford to hunt on horseback. Basset Hounds’ short legs allowed hunters to follow more easily on foot and allowed them to trudge through undergrowth picking up scents close to the ground easier. Increasing in popularity during the 1800’s, even Napolean owned a Basset. In 1785 George Washington, one of the first Basset Hound owners in the United States, was gifted a pack by Marquis de Lafayette.
Southern hunters and farmers would throw fried corn balls at their very loud and howling Basset packs to quiet them down. These “hush puppies” as they were called silenced their dogs. After traveling to the southeast, James Gaylor Muir Farmers and hunters with large packs of Bassets used to throw the traditional southern fried cornball, known as a hush puppy, to their dogs to silence their barking and howling. As an original brand salesman, Muir named the now famous shoe brand after these lovable hounds.
Basset hounds are not only known for their long ears, but also their sense of smell. They have over 220 million smell receptors. Their long ears help left scents off the ground up to their nose.Their ears do not get much air circulation so they are more susceptible to infection.
Basset hounds have been featured in many films and tv shows over the years. For example..
- Stella in Disney’s “Princess and the Frog”
- Pops in Universal Pictures “Secret Life of Pet’s”
- Dog in the tv series “Columbo”
- Elvis Presley sang “Hound Dog” with a top hat wearing basset hound